First Bank Financial Centre launches downtown business loan pool

Oconomowoc-based First Bank Financial Centre has launched a loan pool program to encourage economic development in downtown Milwaukee.

The community bank, which recently announced it would open its first Milwaukee County branch on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, offers its Business Development Loan Pool Program in seven other communities in southeastern Wisconsin. This one is focused on new and established companies in Business Improvement District No. 21, particularly existing first floor commercial space.

The loans can be used as primary sources of funding, or in conjunction with other financing, to complete a project. They are usually between $10,000 and $25,000, carry a 1 percent interest rate that is typically fixed, and have a 10-year amortization.

Companies who receive a loan may use it to finance: the acquisition of land or a building; building improvements or construction; equipment purchases; environmental or safety compliance; demolition; or as matching funds for other economic development programs.

FBFC is the state’s top SBA lender.

“We’re excited to partner with First Bank Financial Centre in bringing this new economic development tool to downtown Milwaukee,” said Matt Dorner, economic development director of Milwaukee Downtown, BID No. 21. “With interest rates as low as 1 percent, the loan pool creates a new source of capital to support downtown property owners and businesses in our ongoing commercial revitalization efforts.”

“It’s important to us to support our local communities,” said Nate Zastrow, executive vice president and chief financial officer of First Bank Financial Centre. “As we enter Milwaukee with our new office later this summer, we wanted to make a financial commitment to assist with growth in the downtown area. The loan pool program has been successful in seven other communities in the region, and we’re excited to see that same success in Milwaukee.”

Businesses interested in applying for a loan from the loan pool can find an application on the BID’s website.

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